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From Babies to bluebot: The Ultrasound Technology Behind the New Smart Water Meter

Ultrasound technology is best known for creating an image of babies still in utero. But the same unintrusive technology that measures a fetus’s tiny feet and hands can also be applied to measure something else: water flow. For over 20 years, bluebot founder Matt Olin sold ultrasonic flow meters for use across numerous industries, ranging from petrochemical to food and beverage. He knew both the importance and the pain of measuring water flow. The complicated ultrasonic water meters of the time required engineers to install them. Other water meters, like mechanical meters, require shutting off the water and calling a plumber to make a major installation. Olin knew there was a better way. Olin and Co-Inventors developed the patented technology behind bluebot. The smart water meter uses the same ultrasonic technology to measure water, making it possible for anybody anywhere to measure their water consumption in real-time. This blog post will explore just how that happens.

Easy to install on any water pipe.

Ultrasound technology is used for medical purposes and for water meters, because it’s unintrusive. Stated simply, you don’t have to hire a plumber or cut the pipe. With bluebot, you can just clamp it on and start tracking your water flow. A bluebot sensor can be clamped on to any pressurized water pipe and adjusts itself automatically— to accurately measure water flow in ¾” up to 4” pipes. Other brands make you purchase increasingly more expensive size-specific water meters, but bluebot can measure water flow on any size of pressurized pipe. Here’s how. blubot install on pipe

bluebot smart water meters measure sound waves.

Within each bluebot smart water meter, there are two types of sensors which send and receive sound waves: upstream and downstream. The upstream sensor sends sound waves downstream. When it bounces off the bottom of the pipe in v-formation, the sound waves are received by the downstream sensor and sent back upstream. Sound travels faster with the flow than against it. Each bluebot measures the time difference between the sensors in picoseconds (one trillionth of a second) to precisely calculate the amount of water passing through the pipe at any given time.

bluebot makes it easy, with AI technology.

It seems easy enough, right? That’s bluebot’s AI technology at work. Regardless of the pipe size and type, bluebot’s sensors automatically angle so that the sound waves align. Once the sound waves are aligned between the sensors and the signal quality is strong, then the water flow can be calculated. While the process is automated with bluebot, other brands aren’t so simple. Water meter sensors from other brands need to be angled and aimed manually by trial and error, similar to a game of pool. It can be a long, frustrating process if it’s not automated. a video of the bluebot water app displaying live flow

Live data you can trust.

While other companies approach smart water meters from an information technology angle first, bluebot was designed first to be an accurate and universal flow meter back by experience from the flow industry. “If the flow meter isn’t sending great data,” said Olin, “it’s worthless.” Unlike nearly all other water flow meters, each bluebot device is tested in a certified Flow Lab to ensure accuracy. The calibration process compares and adjusts each bluebot against a very accurate primary flow standard. This testing begins with a very low water flow and gradually increases to max flow to ensure accuracy across its entire flow range. Other flow meters that run just one flow rate can’t be relied on, since they can’t ensure accuracy across a wide flow range. Not only does bluebot send accurate data, but it sends live data. bluebot smart water meters gather data and measure water flow one hundred times each second to bring you the most up-to-date information. No other water meter can do that.

Make a measurable, positive impact.

Fresh water is a precious resource. As climate change accelerates droughts in California and other parts of the world, the global water crisis can be felt personally. Whether you’re looking to save money, save water, or save the planet – bluebot gives you the water data to get started. Buy a bluebot to measure your water and make a positive impact on the water crisis.